All aboard the Hogwart’s Express

Jan 31, 2009

Posted by: Doris


If you are a writing teacher, this time of year you are constantly in search for new writing prompts. Often the prompts in the books are so overdone that no amount of imagination can pull out creativity or deeper thinking from the student.

After a year or two (ok 17 but let’s not talk about it I’m really not that old!) of teaching writing I found that the Harry Potter series really helped kids learn to add depth and develop in their writing because the content they have to work with is so deep.

I also found that most kids, even my young, struggling seventh grade writers, could see the metaphors from the books and how they related to real life. Moral values, racism and bullying are so easily recognizable in the series that it lends itself to that struggling writer who needs to find their voice.

I thought I’d add a few prompts I’ve used with great success, and if you’d like to share please add yours in our comments. I’ve grouped the prompts into two classifications. Narrative (for those younger writers) and expository.

I’ve also found this great site, Harry Potter Writing Prompts. The site only has 4 prompts now, but maybe they’ll add more later.

Here are a few prompts I’ve liked. All are open ended, and all allow for writers of varying grade and writing levels. Your students can answer these with limited knowledge of the series, and some can be reworded if you have trouble using the HP Series in your class.

I do ask the students to make text to text and text to life connections in all of their writing.

Expository Prompts:
Do you feel that diving students into houses is a form of prejudice?

Narrative Prompts:

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.